The scent of oven fresh cookies and gingerbread has been lingering in the air all week. It’s on TV, all over my Instagram, and in every bakery window. However, sadly, not in our condo…until this Sunday! I finally started my Christmas baking. Ideally, I would have liked to start earlier but, didn’t want to freeze anything and with my new found time, I have the luxury of morning and or mid-day baking if I so choose.
This year, in addition to my macarons, I wanted to do some thing a little different. My usual holiday go-tos are sugar cookies as I love decorating them. Keeping along that vein, I went next level sugar cookie and decided to do a filled cookie. Inspired by my gingerbread house, I wanted to a nice pop of unpredictable holiday colour and landed on a lemon curd-filled cookie.
To complete this treat, I had to seek out 2 separate recipes. The first was the lemon curd. I found this recipe on the Epicurious site as a part of a lemon curd sandwiched butter cookie. This curd recipe is deliciously tart and perfect to stand up against a sugar cookie.
L E M O N C U R D
[note: a half portion of curd is sufficient in filling all the cookies in this particular this recipe series]
- 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh lemon zest
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, cut into bits
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 large egg yolks
Combine and simmer lemon juice, zest, sugar, butter, cornstarch, and salt in a small sauce pan over med-high heat | whisk for 1 minute
Lightly beat yolks in a small bowl
Add 1/4 cup of the warm lemon mixture to yolks as you continue to whisk
Add yolk-lemon mix to the remaining lemon mixture
Reduce heat to low and continue whisking until curd thickens enough to hold whisk marks | about 2mins
Transfer to a bowl to cool and then cover with plastic wrap
*I made this a day in advanced of cookie construction and kept it covered in the fridge until ready for use.
For the cookie, I used Christine Cushing’s stained glass cookie recipe [Food Network]. I found that this cookie didn’t puff up too much in the oven, kept my cookie cutter shape, and wasn’t overly sweet -which was perfect as I intended to sweeten up the batch with icing and sprinkles.
S T A I N E D G L A S S C O O K I E S
[makes about 16 large cookie sandwiches]
- 3 cups flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter @ room temp
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tsp pur vanilla extract
- 2 cookie cutters | 1 for the base and 1 to cut out the window
- royal icing and food colouring for decoration
Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl
Cream together butter + sugar until light and fluffy in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment
Add eggs 1 at a time | continue to beat until smooth
Beat in vanilla and dry ingredients just until dough holds together
Divide and form dough into 2 flat rectangles and cover tightly with plastic wrap | refrigerate for 30mins
Preheat oven to 350ºF
[As I baked in the evening, I didn’t get any well lit unbaked cookie pics..so all you get are super cute baked + decorated cookies]
Line baking sheets with parchment or with a non stick mat
On a floured surface, roll out the dough to a 1/4″ thickness
With cookie cutters, cut out an equal number of tops [pieces with window cut-outs] and bottoms
Place on baking sheet about 1″ apart
Continue until all dough has been used
Bake for about 10-12mins or until the edges turn golden brown [note: due to size, I had to do about 4 cookie sheet batches in the oven]
Let cookies cool on baking sheet for 5mins | carefully transfer to a cooling rack
Spread lemon curd onto bottom cookie and sandwich with the top cookie
Now the fun part; DECORATING!!!! I decided to keep my lemon delights simple with white icing and just a little hit of festive foliage inspired by my gingerbread house wreath. I left the cookies out overnight to dry but once assembled, store + refrigerate cookies in an air sealed container layered with parchment. Cookies can be stored for up to a week.
Though these aren’t your usual gingerbread holiday treats, I think they are a perfect bright holiday pop to add a little change-up to the Christmas cookie lineup.